As someone who enjoys brewing his own beer, I am always on the lookout for quality products. My own brewing journey has taught me the fine nuances of making beer, from ensuring the quality of the malt to experimenting with the hops to equipment capabilities, have a deep impact on the beer. Sometimes, even the water I use can affect the final taste of the beer. I like to be on the look-out for new brewing kits and the different equipment they come with. No two types of equipment provide the same features, and the journey to finding the perfect equipment can be a long one
The Minibrew kit is a great device because it’s pretty much reduced the process of brewing beer to a couple of buttons. It’s a neat little machine that simplifies the whole process and creates brews on-the-go.
The day when the Grainfather Connect arrived, I installed it according to their instructions. I also downloaded their app as they say that it provides the most benefits of the system. In order to test the system, I decided to go with one of the pre-installed recipes with one of the grain kits from The Grainfather.
However, I still wanted to challenge the system, and so I picked their Black IPA recipe and kit instead. The kit came with two packets of mixed grains which included Gladfield American Ale Malt, Gladfield Dark Crystal Malt, Gladfield Munich Malt, and Gladfield Dark Chocolate Malt. It also came with two packets of Mangrove Jack's M44 US West Coast yeast, and the hops were a combination of Pacific Jade, Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic.
The recipe on the app called for 23.2L of water which it then continued to automatically heat to the required mash temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. I then slowly added the mash into the water, taking care to mix fully to avoid lumps. The recipe called for a steady increase in temperature at different times, all of which was automated by the control box and the app.
Next came the sparging process after which the system automatically begins the boiling process by increasing the temperature. According to the recipe, the liquid had to boil for ninety minutes. During this phase, I added the timed hop to the liquid. Then came the cooling process using their convenient counterflow wort chiller.
As the cool wort was collected, I added both packets of the yeast for the fermentation process which can last between 7 to 10 days. The temperature for this process was also maintained automatically by the control box and app. I tapped the beer into a keg for a further 3 weeks after which the beer was ready to taste.
The beer has a strong aroma of citrus, pine resin, mango, and passion fruit which is a result of the dry hopping during the fermentation. The flavour has a smooth caramel malt body which is offset beautifully by the bitterness. The hop adds great depth of flavours that complement each other.
The system has much scope to play around with, especially in the manual setting. The next step for me will be to experiment with my own recipes that I have perfected over the years.
The company also has an effective customer support team. After the success of this initial experiment, I am definitely curious about the system’s abilities and how far I can test its accurate temperature control.